STB Rock Art


RAD 108 – Swart Kei River

Original Sold


The panel contains a wide variety of detailed imagery that reflects several key elements in San thought and cosmology.

The prominent red band running through this painting is almost certainly a water serpent. It has been painted, either leaving or entering a crack in the rock in the bottom left of this scene. Snakes are potent symbols in many cultures across the world. The San associated snakes with the spirit world. Snake fat as with eland fat, had both supernatural potency and transformative powers and could assist shamans in entering the spirit world.

Five eland are clearly depicted in this panel, along with two tall human figures with limb and head adornments. Elongated figures in white and grey are visible as well as an attenuated figure in black in the upper left of this painting. Shamans spoke of feeling very small or tall when in trance. It was in the, ‘out of body’ states that they would connect with the spirit world and amongst other things, call for rain, chase away malevolent spirits or gain power to heal the sick.

Eland were greatly revered by the San and are the most frequently painted animal in San rock art. Great care was taken in the painting of eland and they can be seen today in a wide variety of stances on the rock face. The eland is prominent in four San rituals, the trance dance, boys first kill, young girl’s puberty and marriage. The trance dance or healing dance was the most important of these rituals and apart from bringing together families and strengthening group bonds, it was also a time when shamans would make contact with the spirit world for the benefit of the greater community.

View of Swart Kei River Shelter

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Original Artwork

Stephen’s original rock art documentary paintings are created using ancient pigment and paint making methods on acid-free, long fibre cotton canvas. This is a stable substrate for his paint mixes.
Each artwork is accompanied by a description of the specific rock art panel from where the frieze was recorded.

Signed & Numbered Canvas Print Collection

  • Each print is part of a limited, signed and numbered collection.
  • Stephen’s print collections are printed on premium quality canvas and with archival inks
  • Enclosed with each print is a description of the frieze.

Mounted Prints

Each print is produced on high quality fine art paper with a cream mount. This makes them ideal for travel and gifts.

Shipping Information

  • Door to door shipping available within South Africa and worldwide.
  • Rate is calculated on completion of order and included in the invoice, which will be e-mailed to you.
  • Once payment is received, a tracking number will be provided to ensure shipments can be tracked.
  • Free shipping within South Africa for orders over R1000.00
Ordering Options

Mounted Print, Signed & Numbered Print Collection


Canvas size: 60cm(h) x 72cm(w), Canvas size: 96cm(h) x 115cm(w), Mounted size: 21cm(h) x 27.5cm(w)

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